When a concern arises that a child has been physically or sexually abused or has witnessed a violent crime, a forensic interview is the best way to gather information from the child. A forensic interview is an objective, non-leading, age and developmentally appropriate process that limits additional trauma to the child. The goal of the interview is to provide a safe environment where the child is invited to talk about matters of concern.
Unless a child is not verbal, his or her involvement with SEMO-NASV will begin with this interview. It is conducted by a staff person who is trained in forensics, child development and linguistics and takes place in our child-friendly interview room. The interview room contains chairs for the interviewer and child as well as an electronic white board where the interviewer and child may write or draw during the discussion.
The interview will be digitally recorded by a ceiling mounted camera and observed through closed circuit TV in a separate room by all of the investigative team members involved. Through this collaboration, all members receive the same information to begin to work on behalf of the child. A copy of the interview is released to law enforcement that is investigating the case as well as maintained at SEMO-NASV.
Adults may also utilize our forensic interview process to aid in the investigation of their case. The same protocol is followed for adults as in child interviews with modifications made as needed for developmental considerations.